By now, many of you have likely heard about Google’s new mobile search update and how it will affect the mobile search rankings for websites which are not “mobile friendly”. Industry experts have taken the liberty of naming April 21st, the first day the search update will go into effect, as “Mobilegeddon” Day.
So why all the fuss?
There are many websites that are not mobile friendly, meaning their web pages do not display well on tablet or smartphone screens. It’s estimated that over half of websites on the Internet today are not mobile friendly.
With the new Google update, your search rankings will decrease if your website is not mobile friendly. There is also a possibility that your website could even be removed from search rankings at some point if it is not mobile friendly.
This means less people will be able to find your website through Google search results, which make up about 67% of all internet searches. This means higher booking costs, and probably lower revenues as a result.
So what should you do about it?
First of all, Google has a tool that you can use to see if your website pages are mobile friendly. Just enter in the URL of each webpage on your website and you will be able to see just how friendly your site is.
If you encounter any problems or come to the realization that your site really isn’t mobile friendly, you have three options:
- Update Your Site
- Upgrade Your Site
- Replace Your Site
Many website designers will set up your mobile friendly website by creating a separate copy of the website that is designed to fit on a smaller screen. However, this option can be spendy when you are upgrading or redesigning because you are essentially creating/modifying two websites, one for mobile devices and one for personal computers/laptops.
The current website design trend is what is called a responsive website. This means that the website works with the mobile device and automatically adjusts the content and functionality to the given device’s screen size and orientation (portrait or landscape). Your website designer or developer will only need to change/upgrade a website once rather than for two “separate” sites.
Note – ResortsandLodges.com recommends a responsive website for all of its website customers.
Some other things to look out for include speed of the mobile website. Faster loading websites will mean a better mobile user experience and higher Google search rankings. Make sure that images, Java script, flash videos, and CSS are loaded correctly within a mobile page. You may need to limit navigation, or reduce the size and “weight” of your property images on your mobile site to ensure speedy downloads. And always try to simplify your navigation, if possible. Optimizing these things will ensure speedy downloads and keep your website’s mobile rankings high in Google SERPs.
If you offer e-commerce (online booking) through your mobile website, please ensure that each page is mobile friendly according to Google. Sometimes online booking widgets get outdated and are not optimized (or simply don’t work) on mobile devices. Also, keep an eye on security and encryption for your payment screens on your mobile website.
Lastly, make sure your listing pages on all of your channel partner websites are mobile friendly and/or responsive. Most large portals have already optimized their listing webpages for mobile devices, but it never hurts to check how your listing page displays on a tablet or smartphone device.
One more thing…
ResortsandLodges.com is offering a 30% Discount on all of its Website Packages!
This offer ends April 21, 2015.